A Wales-wide young programmers group raising the profile of Made in Wales films through
screenings and events.
The Wales Youth Festival Network is an informal network of film festivals and film exhibitors across Wales. It was set up in 2019 with support from Wicked Wales Films and Film Hub Wales with the aim of promoting independent films to young audiences. The parent charity of Wicked Wales Films is the Prestatyn Youth Pop-in Centre, an organisation based in Prestatyn, North Wales, that works tirelessly to raise the funds to develop the work of WYFN and Ffilm Ifanc. Ffilm Ifanc came about as a way of supporting WYFN, bringing authentic youth support to bridge the gap between exhibitors and audiences.
Ffilm Ifanc is currently made up of ten young creatives, aged 17-24, geographically spread across Wales, who have come together as a young programmers group curating programmes of Made in Wales films and offering curatorial support to festivals and venues wishing to engage with a local youth audience. It is the Wales-wide element that makes Ffilm Ifanc particularly unique. The programmers are not linked to any particular venue, instead working across the country delivering innovative youth-led programming, potentially reaching out to a range of audiences based in both city and more rural settings. This very new and exciting initiative, in a very short space of time, is already making a difference bringing films made by young people to the attention of the industry and audience in Wales. The group includes Welsh language speakers and it is important to Ffilm Ifanc to screen and promote Welsh language films.
Ffilm Ifanc matters if there is a genuine desire to engage with young filmmakers and audiences. Members of the group are able to bring their own unique enthusiasm to the programming of films made by other young people from/based in Wales. The group have led the project from the outset, coming up with the name; Film Ifanc: Young Film, watching and selecting films for the programmes, designing the logo, branding and setting up of the social media platforms to promote their screenings and events. Ffilm Ifanc are committed to supporting up and coming talent by providing young filmmakers with a platform for their work to be seen and their voices to be heard. Being involved in Ffilm Ifanc also means that the young programmers have opportunities for training and visiting film festivals both nationally and internationally. Professional development is key to the project.
- To find and raise the profile of Made in Wales films made by young filmmakers by curating interesting and innovative programmes of films online and in person all programmed by peer aged young people
- To foster a community of support for young Wales based filmmakers amongst exhibitors nationally and internationally
- To provide upskilling opportunities and training for the young programmers to increase their experience and employability
- Seeing the commitment of the Ffilm Ifanc members to regularly attend meetings, take
on the role of programmers, designers, editors, marketing etc
- To see the impact the group is having in terms of raising the profile of Made in Wales
films made by young filmmakers
- Seeing the interest in the project gain momentum amongst exhibitors across Wales,
with other opportunities then presenting themselves for the young programmers
- To see the group develop in confidence, with for example, individual members taking
part in the ICO Young Audiences Screening Days or interviewing director of The
Welshman, Lindsay Walker at the post screening Q&A at Wicked.
Key partnerships include funders: Film Hub Wales and Ffilm Cymru Wales who are supportive of the whole ethos of the Ffilm Ifanc project and see the innovative nature of this Wales-wide young programmers group and the potential for its reach.
Wicked Wales: Overseeing the development of the project, offering expertise and guidance to the group and with the development of projects and ideas.
WYFN – members of the network are working with Ffilm Ifanc, offering curatorial opportunities and taking the touring programme which the group are programming
Chapter – screening the first online showcase curated by the group for two weeks in July
Guest speakers including Megan Mitchell, Aaron Guthrie, Radha Patel and Nia Edwards-Behi – all bringing their expertise to share with Ffilm Ifanc, encouraging and supporting their development as young programmers.
What has gone well?
- Watching and selecting films for Made in Wales showcases
- Designing and managing the marketing and social media campaigns to promote the
- Screening 16 Made in Wales films on the Chapter Player in July
- The programmers setting up a Discord channel to talk to each other and share ideas and films outside of meetings
- Attending Wicked Wales to introduce the in-person showcase and interviewing Lindsay Walker for the post-screening Q&A
- Talking on a Young Programmers panel at the ICO Young Audiences Screening Days
What has been challenging?
- Everyone involved is busy and young people already have a lot of demands on their time
- Challenging to always meet on Zoom as it would be good to meet in person but as the
group is geographically spread out this is realistically the only way to meet regularly
- Ffilm Ifanc want to be as inclusive as possible and it is important to them to screen
captioned films and to ensure their screenings and events are inclusive – not all short
films are already captioned and this poses a challenge of either finding films that are
captioned or raising funds to caption the films that they wish to programme
What would you do differently?
- Set out with a clearer level of the expectations around commitment e.g. the
requirement to attend x number of meetings, become a member for x amount of time
- Be clear about the roles on offer within a programming group and ask people to pick an area of expertise that they feel would suit them best as it is advantageous that members of the group know who is doing what. This might engender more ownership. By focusing and specialising, training could then be tailored and knowledge would develop resulting in more confidence and expertise
- Build in funding from the outset to support inclusive screenings
Read an article about Ffil Ifancs Made in Wales programme here.